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By Gabi DuBay

Congratulations on your first year of sobriety!

You might be wondering to yourself, “Now what’s going to happen?”

Don’t be alarmed if your body doesn’t seem to be working as it’s meant to. You’re not falling apart, you’re just sober.

The first year of sobriety is probably going to be the hardest, and without a doubt, it’s going to be the most important. Your emotions are probably going haywire, and soon you’ll have to figure out how to make friends with your social anxiety. Despite every catastrophic thought running through your head right now, I promise you this is not an impossible task.

Everyone has their own path to long-term recovery; here is a simplified version of the process and a few tips for success in your own sobriety.

  1. Go to meetings. Meetings aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the benefits of 12-step meetings are undeniable. You don’t have to be a believer, but at the very least meetings will help you build a support system. Having people to connect with is paramount in your first year.
  2. Meet people and call those people. I’m sure you’re thinking, “That phone weighs a thousand pounds, and I don’t want to call people and just unload on them.” However, addiction is the opposite of connection. The more time you spend connecting with people, the less alone you’ll be. You will find that people are more than willing to help.
  3. Eat right and exercise. It’s time to put down the half-eaten box of donuts and throw out the leftover chicken nuggets from McDonald’s; that’s right, we’re getting healthy. Eating right and exercising is a crucial part of getting sober and staying sober. Your body and mind have been depleted, so now is the time to replenish with nutrients and love. A plus side to exercising: your brain gets pumped full of endorphins, producing a natural “high.”
  4. Find new passions. Try new stuff and figure out what keeps you entertained in sobriety. Addiction either kept us from doing what we love, or it kept us from doing something we’ve always wanted to try. Find your passion in life; it will lead you to your purpose.
  5. Take it easy. Recovery takes time. There is no finish line to this adventure, and people often want to get sober all at once. Not possible. Relaxing and taking it easy is vital to early sobriety; getting through the day without picking up is more important than whatever you think you have to do.
Your First Year
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